The national database of state and local wildfire hazard mitigation programs
serves as a clearinghouse of information about nonfederal policies and
programs that seek to reduce the risk of loss of life and property through
the reduction of hazardous fuels on private lands.
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Lane County, OR -- CWPP
Community planning and CWPP's|
Lane County, OR – County Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP)
The Lane County Wildfire Protection Plan was created in response to a directive by the County Board of Commissioners in December, 2004 and adopted in July, 2005. The Plan is available on the internet on the Lane County Wildfire website. In addition to a link to the CWPP, the website offers information to homeowners on defensible space, evacuation guidelines, a fire-resistant plant list for Oregon landscapes, and links to state, local and federal agencies with helpful information relating to wildfire.
The Community Wildfire Protection Plan was developed by the Oregon Natural Hazards Workgroup (ONHW) at the University of Oregon in conjunction with Lane County Emergency Management. These lead groups worked collaboratively with:
• Lane County Sheriff’s Office
• Lane County Fire Defense Board
• Lane County Land Management Division
• Lane County Public Works Department
• Lane County Fire Prevention Cooperative
• Oregon Department of Forestry
• Oregon State Fire Marshal
• U.S. Forest Service
• Bureau of Land Management.
The plan was developed to meet the requirements of the Healthy Forest Restoration Act (HFRA), but it goes far beyond the minimum requirements and includes a survey of homeowners, interviews with stakeholders and a Firewise workshop. These elements make the Lane County CWPP more elaborate than most CWPPs, with the results of the homeowner survey and stakeholder interviews being of interest to forest managers beyond the borders of Lane County.
Steps taken to involve interested parties and stakeholders in the development of the Lane County CWPP:
- Landowner Survey - A survey was mailed to 1,500 randomly selected landowners in Lane County. The survey questions were designed to gain information about landowners’ perceptions of wildfire risk and assess their attitudes toward potential actions that communities and homeowners can take to reduce their risk of wildfire.
- Stakeholder Interviews – Oregon Natural Hazards Workgroup conducted phone interviews with key stakeholders to gain information about important issues, concerns, and current activities related to the Lane County CWPP objectives of collaboration, prioritization of fuel reduction projects, and treatment of structural ignitability.
- Firewise Workshop - Oregon Department of Forestry and ONHW invited stakeholders such as agency staff, planners, developers, realtors, insurers, utility providers, and non-profit organizations to attend a Firewise Communities workshop. The workshop sought stakeholder participation in identifying obstacles and opportunities to reducing wildfire risk in Lane.
The Plan analyzes the administrative policy framework in which the CWPP will play a role including: HFRA, National Fire Plan, Disaster Mitigation Act, Oregon Forestland Urban Interface Act and other statewide and local plans and goals.
The Lane County Risk Assessment
This assessment evaluates wildland-urban interface fire risk by analyzing four key “layers” of wildfire information. These layers are:
• Risk: analyzes historical ignitions over the past 10 years.
• Hazard: Natural conditions, including vegetative fuels, weather, topographic features, that may contribute to and affect the behavior of wildfire.
• Values: The people, property, and essential infrastructure that may suffer losses in a wildfire event.
• Protection Capability: The ability to plan and prepare for, as well as respond to and suppress, structural and wildland fires.
This assessment uses GIS information to produce a series of map layers representing the four risk categories listed above. By overlaying these map layers, the assessment indicates areas that express high, moderate and low potential risk of being impacted by a wildland urban interface fire. The GIS information was checked against information provided by federal, state and local fire protection professionals familiar with the threats within their protection areas.
The size of Lane County’s wildland-urban interface is the result of a dispersed population in close proximity to abundant vegetative fuels. Nearly 90% of Lane County is forestland and nearly 2.5 million of the county’s 2.9 million acres are zoned F1, non-impacted forestland. The U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management own and manage the majority of the F1 zoned property. These forestlands contain extensive fuels comprised of flammable grasses, brush, slash and timber. Excluding the population of Eugene/Springfield metro area, nearly 100,000 Lane County residents live within or adjacent to these forestlands. The majority of these residents live in rural population centers along the I-5 corridor and other major transportation routes.
According to the Federal Register in January, 2001, which published a list of at-risk communities, there were 15 at-risk communities in Lane County. However, the within the designated Wildland-Urban Interface determined by the CWPP's risk assessment there are twice that number of Communities at risk.
Overall, Lane County is at moderate risk for wildland-urban interface fire, but high-risk areas do exist throughout the county. The risk assessment needs to be updated and enhanced with more precise data from the local community level such as house to house data on individual home wildfire risk.
The Action Plan
The CWPP presents a detailed Action Plan to reach the three stated goals:
GOAL 1: Provide countywide leadership through partnerships to implement wildland-urban interface fire mitigation strategies in Lane County.
GOAL 2: Improve community strategies for reducing the impacts of wildland-urban interface fires.
GOAL 3: Promote wildfire risk reduction activities for private and public lands in Lane County.
The Action Plan outlines the coordinating agency for each action, the potential funding source, the priority level of the action and the timeframe for accomplishment.
For more information on the Lane County CWPP, contact:
Keir Miller, Planner
Lane County Land Management Division
125 E. 8th Avenue
Eugene, OR 97401